Sometimes Feeling Blue Is Great!
Friday, April 30, 2010 | Author: eventer79
Friday Fun Fact is back!

There is a special little bird that I can hear outside my office window right now, so today, the little creature that never fails to make me smile just by appearing gets to be the center of WWWT attention.

You've probably seen the unfailingly charming eastern bluebird and even heard its distinctive song without knowing it. Its cheerful burble is hard to miss once you know it and these dapper little birds are often found perching on fence and power lines at dusk, watching for the perfect moment to swoop out and grab an insect meal.

They are dedicated parents, spending as many as 20 days carefully raising their chicks after hatching. Bluebirds also exhibit what is called philopatry, where one chick may remain with the parents after fledging and help to raise the next brood of chicks in an admirable show of sibling support.

In the late 70's, these little gems were declared a rare species; their populations were demolished by a combination of several harsh winters, pesticide use to curtail fire ants, and competition from invasive species. Bluebirds require a cavity to nest in; given that they are not a woodpecker, they cannot excavate their own and thus must rely on the available holes in their territory. Non-native invaders like house sparrows and starlings will fight and even kill a bluebird to steal away a lucrative nest site and as a result, our azure native's reproductive success plummeted.

Campaigns to encourage the installation of bluebird boxes across this animal's range have resulted in a population rebound throughout much of its former habitat. Bring a smile to your backyard today by hanging one in YOUR habitat. You can build your own or order from many sources, including this deluxe edition from (OH! I WANT it!).  Here are some great directions on how to install it for maximum benefit to the birds.
Back To Business
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Author: eventer79
I have been remiss, wanderers, but I have not forgotten you.  However, spring is here and with it comes the increased demands of field work.  I shall be back with more posts for you, I promise, but in the meantime, several action items to keep you busy:

Sign the petition asking Discovery Networks not to run a travesty of a show called "Sarah Palin's Alaska."  Defenders of Wildlife is only 9,000 signatures away from its goal of 200,000.  Nothing about Palin's death wish for wildlife belongs on a channel that is SUPPOSED to educate the public about conservation and the miracle of the natural world.  Her Alaska would be one devoid of native ecosystems and covered in oil wells -- no place I'd like to visit!

Do not spend a single dollar of your money at the major outdoor retailer, Cabela's.  They have decided to be a corporate sponsor for grey wolf-killing derbies in the northern Rockies.  No company that supports misinformed and propaganda-fueled slaughter should be allowed to profit.  You can read past posts on wolves and their plight and their role as scapegoats of the west here.